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Open Invention Network Calls Out Microsoft 95

Posted by Zonk
from the show-em-if-you-got-em dept.
Stony Stevenson writes with news that the head of the Open Invention Network has summarily dismissed Microsoft's claims that Linux violates a number of its patents. Calling the move 'clear FUD', Jerry Rosenthal calls them out by asking for Microsoft to disclose the patents they are worried about. His argument is that if the patents are something to be proud of, if the software giant feels they're sure to succeed in court, there's no need for behind-the-hand namecalling. "Rosenthal believes that, if there are grounds for patent infringement, there would either be easy workarounds or the open source community would find 'prior art' which would invalidate the patent. OIN buys patents on the open market and makes them available to companies royalty free, so long as those companies pledge never to use their own patents to attack open source code.The organisation was set up by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony and has a war chest of millions of dollars."
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Open Invention Network Calls Out Microsoft

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  • by jkrise (535370) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:30AM (#20868333) Journal
    Linux grew to it's present strength because the GPL (then and now) took a very clear stand against software patents. The OIN on the other hand, muddies the waters and talks about this non-existent entity called Intellectual Property.

    from their site:

    In order to continue this rapid pace of innovation, a refined model of intellectual property management has been established. Open Invention NetworkSM is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote the Linux system by using patents to create a collaborative ecosystem.
    The more the Linux community stay away from OIN, the better. The word Open is abused day by day, it seems a complete rewrite of the dictionary is needed.
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:43AM (#20868515)
      While I will admit I don't know much about them, from your own words I have to disagree with you.

      The GPL (and thus the FSF) uses the copyright system to protect software freedom. The OIN apparently using the patent system to protect software freedom. There will be some overlap here, but using 2 different systems to protect the same thing isn't wasteful, it's security. Especially with such an unpredictable system. (Could anyone here have predicted the 1-click patent?)

      BTW, Copyright, the basis for the GPL, is also Intellectual Property. If IP really didn't exist, neither would the GPL.
      • by jkrise (535370)
        The OIN apparently using the patent system to protect software freedom. There will be some overlap here, but using 2 different systems to protect the same thing isn't wasteful, it's security. Especially with such an unpredictable system. (Could anyone here have predicted the 1-click patent?)

        BTW, Copyright, the basis for the GPL, is also Intellectual Property. If IP really didn't exist, neither would the GPL.


        This is wrong at several levels. The FSF is very clear in its view that Copyright is NOT Intellectua
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aladrin (926209)
          Doesn't really matter what 1 organization says, it matters what the world says. Here's a little bit of the rest of the world:

          http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/ [wipo.int]

          Here's a little sample, emphasis is mine:

          Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works suc

        • The FSF is very clear in its view that Copyright is NOT Intellectual Property.


          The fact that the FSF and/or RMS claims that copyright is not Intellectual Property does not change the fact that copyright is a type of intellectual property.

      • by Sique (173459)

        BTW, Copyright, the basis for the GPL, is also Intellectual Property. If IP really didn't exist, neither would the GPL.
        That's just plain wrong. Copyright is a right (to be more exact a priviledge) and not a property. Having rights to something doesn't make it your property, even though there are people who seem to think so. If you buy a flight ticket you have the right to fly on a plane at a certain seat. But in no way this turns the seat into your property.
        • by Sique (173459)
          To elaborate my point: If you have Author's Right according to the Berne Convention you can't even trade the Right. Either you are the author, then you have Author's Right automatically, or you are not, then you will never get Author's Right. Even "work for hire" is not covered by the Berne Convention. So Author's Right is certainly not a property.
      • I am sorry, there is no way to cooperate fair with lawyers. They don't treat you right. What will the OIN do against the typical lawyer deception? How will they ensure that we don't believe they will deceive us in the future. Do they support the anti-software patent movement or do they nurture the parasite?
    • by crush (19364) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:53AM (#20868697)

      "Intellectual property" is a misleading portmanteau of completely separate branches of law: trademarks, copyrights and patents. But the OIN despite the badly worded mission statement concentrates on patents. Specifically its a defensive patent pool (with contributions from Red Hat, Sun, Novell, IBM and others) which can be licensed by any company agreeing not to use its own patents in aggressive lawsuits against pool members.

      Currently the three largest licensess are Google, Barracuda and Sun.

      David Wheeler has a good overview here [dwheeler.com]

      Given the current lamentable state of the patent system the OIN is probably the only way in which some sanity can be established. It must be awkward to be Novell right now having endorsed the OIN on one hand, and also endorsed the existence of Microsoft's Snuffleupagus [wikipedia.org] Patents.

  • Ballmer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:32AM (#20868355) Journal
    You know what, I don't think Microsoft knows which patents Linux is violating. There was a study done a few years ago, which was reported here on Slashdot, that said Linux may be violating a number of patents, but it didn't disclose any of them. I'll bet you anything Ballmer read that and thought, "Sweet! We've won!" Then at a certain PR event, he felt so excited about it he couldn't hold it in. He had to tell the world about this awesome study he'd heard about. Just like a little kid.

    And that study may or may not be accurate, but Microsoft has no idea. They haven't gone through the code, it's just a bunch of hot air. Hope this doesn't stir up the water and get them looking.
    • Oh I think they know which patents are being infringed upon. I think they also know that the large majority of those patents are frivolous. It was just a FUD attack. But let's remember, according to Microsoft, this week they're open source's best friend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      How the heck was that off topic? The OIN is responding directly to a claim made by Balmer that linux violates Microsoft patents. That claim was made shortly after a study was made by an open source insurance group claiming the exact same thing. All of this came about as a result of the SCO fiasco.
      Links:
      The original study [slashdot.org]
      The Ballmer threat [slashdot.org]

      I swear people here have such a short memory.
    • by HartDev (1155203)
      I like your though process, I think from the very beginning MS was just being a winey little kid cause they know that Linux is growing and getting more exposure and easier to use, in short coming into it's own, especially in the business, the only reason that they made a deal with Novell is to make money off the people who wanted an enterprise Linux solution, so that MS can make money from Open Source. That company is now in the business of keeping their large income static (if not larger), not making thei
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by phantomfive (622387)
        Yes, I agree completely. It is amazing to think that such a huge and powerful company could fall and die, but that is exactly the direction they are headed. All their revenue streams (essentially Windows and Office) are facing strong competition for the first time in years. Mac sales are up 30% from last year. A number of strong competitors to Office are coming out. In the very least, they will have to cut prices. Furthermore, they have shown themselves incapable of producing a better operating syste
        • by HartDev (1155203)
          Given the present attitude they will burn all bridges and die kicking and screaming "what a world! What a world!" but that is just my guess. But one thing is for sure that it is a pathetic and lame blow to attack open source for patents on the Linux OS. Think I should tell MS that the "if I go I am taking you with me!" mentality won't work in the software arena?
        • The question is how bad will be their fall? Will it be like IBM and Apple, who emerged with new life and remade themselves? Or will it be like SGI or Commodore?

          Unlike Commodore which died SGI has changed their focus. SGI now builds High Performance [eweek.com] and supercomputers [itjungle.com]. Here's an article on CNN Money about SGI, Marking First 25 Years, SGI Highlights How Its Customers Have Changed the World [cnn.com].

          Falcon

          • Yeah, and the Amiga is still alive too, holding the torch of the Commodore generation. The thing is, if Microsoft falls to the level of SGI, faces delisting from NASDAQ, and files for chapter 11 bankruptcy like SGI did, then for all practical purposes they will be dead. Mere zombies of their former selves.
            • Yeah, and the Amiga is still alive too, holding the torch of the Commodore generation.

              The Amiga was my fav computer/OS. Commodore did almost nothing to market it unfortunately. And the thing is is the Amiga not only ran Workbench, the Amiga OS, but also was able to run both MS DOS and Windows 3.x as well as MacOS. Watching a then current Amiga and Mac running side by side years ago the Amiga ran Mac OS faster than the Mac did. I bought my first new PC right after Gateway bought the Amiga resources f

      • the only reason that they made a deal with Novell is to make money off the people who wanted an enterprise Linux solution, so that MS can make money from Open Source.

        I don't think the MS deal with Novell had anything to do with trying to make a profit off of Linux. MS could have easily made money off of Linux by selling a version of MS Office for Linux. If MS had created such a version 7 years ago I doubt Open Office would have gained as big, and getting bigger, a share of office suites. There was som

        • by HartDev (1155203)
          you make some very good points but I would consider making MS Office for Linux a Terrible move, that would admit open source had some weight, about the only reason I think they made office for Mac OS was to get some slack from the monopoly law suits, and if I understand correctly Macs now either run full blown windows or parallels for windows apps. MS will have to impead Linux at all cost in their minds, why else would they have to claim patent violations that they cannot pinpoint? The paniced.
          • about the only reason I think they made office for Mac OS was to get some slack from the monopoly law suits

            MS had software for Macs before they ever came out with Windows. Up until the 1990s Apple's share of the market was big, not as big as Windows' share is now but it was big. In education the market share Apple had was about 50%. Back then Apple was smart about the educational market, they offered an educational discount of about 50%. But they lowered the discount in the '90s. It's barely 10% now

    • And that study may or may not be accurate, but Microsoft has no idea. They haven't gone through the code, it's just a bunch of hot air. Hope this doesn't stir up the water and get them looking.

      Actually I'd prefer Microsoft had to prove Linux, and OO, violates MS patents. Then when they can't everyone will know exactly what MS is doing, spreading FUD. If I were someone like Linus and had the money I'd sue MS to prove Linux uses any MS patents.

      Falcon
  • by mdm-adph (1030332)
    ...it wants its stories back. :P

    I thought Microsoft had already shut up about this for now?
    • Shutting up means PHBs get to vaguely remember something about it, in an almost-subconscious way, that makes them feel that much more uncomfortable with the idea of Linux and open source.

      We want them to admit that they were lying, publicly.

      That, or if there really are patent claims, show us what they are.
      • I am curious. Since you are demanding to know what these patent claims are, does this mean you think that you are the responsible party regarding these patent violations? They only have to disclose the claims to the party they choose to sue as part of the legal filings. Is that you? When the day comes that some of these patents are real (assuming any are) are you going to dig into your checkbook and pay the hundreds of millions in damages? Or are you one of the clamoring whiners who screams and froths about
        • Steve? Is that you, man?

          Dude, you're an such an excellent dancer [google.com].
        • They only have to disclose the claims to the party they choose to sue as part of the legal filings.

          Of course, they only have to.

          Which is a bit like the Corombite Maneuver [wikipedia.org]. It doesn't matter that Microsoft doesn't have a single patent, it matters that people think they do.

          When the day comes that some of these patents are real (assuming any are) are you going to dig into your checkbook and pay the hundreds of millions in damages?

          First, they're not real. Don't you think Microsoft would've been happy to nam

          • When the day comes that some of these patents are real (assuming any are) are you going to dig into your checkbook and pay the hundreds of millions in damages?

            First, they're not real. Don't you think Microsoft would've been happy to name them, if they are?

            Microsoft can't name the patents Linux and OO violates because MS didn't conduct or higher someone else to conduct the study. The study Ballmer and the rest of MS says Linux and OO violates MS patents was done by Public Patent Foundation [pubpat.org] for Op [osriskmanagement.com]

          • Second, surely you've heard of a "class action" lawsuit? Or do you really think Microsoft could demonstrate that I've cost them the hundreds of millions? Or that any other single person is as guilty? Surely, that blame rests with more than just one person, right?

            Given the brilliance of this, I'm not even going to bother the rest of your post. FYI, a class action lawsuit requires that the class be the plaintiff. Not the defendant. Microsoft won't be suing a class if they choose to sue.

            • Didn't bother to look up the legal term, but this kind of thing HAS been done -- where one plaintiff went and sued a bunch of people, independently, for essentially the same crime. They then fought back, collectively.

              Yes, Microsoft would sue me, an individual. And then I'd go on Slashdot with my evidence, get people to donate to my Paypal, and pool resources with other individuals they'd sued.
        • So, why don't you spine up. Form a company selling a fairly complete distro, say a respin of Redhat, and preemptively sue Microsoft for damaging your business with their false claims of patent infringets.

          If I had the money I'd do just this, file a lawsuit requesting they show what patents Linux AND Open Office violates or stop the liable and slander. Unfortunately not only do I not have the money but being on disability I'm not even employed.

          Falcon
  • This is like the crippled kid down the street calling out the New York Yankees. What's the deal? Does OIN need donations, so they decided to get themselves in the news?
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Ooh, "a war chest of millions of dollars"? I bet Microsoft has more than that in their tea kitty.
      • Last checked, Microsoft had about $800 million in cash for handling business matters of any form. If you were to divide that up into all the divisions and needs and figure out how much is really allottable for patent defense, it might not seem as huge, but yes, Microsoft has a boat load of money. Or a few boats.
    • What's the deal? Does OIN need donations, so they decided to get themselves in the news?

      I do not know. I have a major conflict about one aspect. It's like trying to create levitation by buttering the back of a cat and throwing it off the balcony. It can never land because cats always land feet first/buttered side down. With that in mind, the problem is SONY... Evil rootkit drm RIAA member/good supports open source anti-litigation.. I think my head is going to explode. I think I just figured it out.. S
    • Stories like this just make muddier water. If the OIN wants to get involved, they should offer to PURCHASE the patents, then they can sulk if they get re-buffed. Right now, they seem like little kids sulking about nothing and just using an every dirtier news stick to stir up ever muddier waters.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:45AM (#20868559)
    Let's see, hundreds of visible industry columnists, analysts, and others call out Microsoft on their patent slander.

    One more voice, this of an open (and therefore enemy) patent organization calls out the FUD.

    Didn't matter then, doesn't matter now. Microsoft won't budge from their desire to continue to illegally dominate the marketplace, just as they have done for a dozen years.

    I'd like to say it might make a difference, and it will to some-- but not Microsoft. People don't get that they believe that they're autonomous and above the law, fighting each thing until the very most bitter end. And what's going to change now?

    Sadly, nothing. And they'll get worse after Craig Mundie becomes entrenched.
    • One more voice, this of an open (and therefore enemy) patent organization calls out the FUD.

      Didn't matter then, doesn't matter now.

      It does matter. By continuing to challenge Microsoft on their FUD, the OIS is establishing a non-presumptive laches defense.

      Establishing good faith (asking to be told of infringements in order to comply)is one of the key steps of the defense. It will make it MUCH harder for Microsoft to claim damages from patent infringement.

      • I wish what you contend was true. So far, this saber-rattling has been the crux of much FUD on Microsoft's part. Should they choose litigation, there are theories of law, including estoppel, with might work, as Microsoft has been asked more than once, publicly, to show their hand and have not. But it's really up to them to do so at the time of their choosing. And then, with a war chest of legal funds that's larger than the GDP of many countries, they will go to war, one patent at a time. This will bankrup
    • by blippy (844130)

      One more voice, this of an open (and therefore enemy) patent organization calls out the FUD.

      If MS thought its patents to be valuable, then why wouldn't it disclose the alleged infringements, and put a stop to them? After all, isn't open source "violating" its "valuable" "intellectual property"? If it considered that all of its patents were valuable, why wouldn't they go through their portfolio with a fine tooth comb to see what other infringements there may be? One can only presume that MS doesn't think

      • The moment MS starts the patent war, they cannot return from it unscathed even if they win. Patents are for rattling sabres (largely) anyway. They're chess pieces.

        In a hilarious sort of way, Microsoft's been acting like Teddy Roosevelt by "walking softly and carrying a big stick". Once they have to whack with that stick, much hell breaks loose.

        Let's see, Microsoft's current winner/loser list is impressive. And their cash position is still enormous, even without paying those pesky biters in the EU their due.
  • Save your breath (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paiute (550198) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:54AM (#20868703)
    If I'm Microsoft and I think I have patents that Linux infringes upon, why would I want to specify which ones? I would keep mentioning them to try and scare corporations away from using Linux. If that does not work to my satisfaction and Linux does someday become an actual threat, I can sue then and claim damages for all the time that Linux was being used and was infringing. If I tell now which patents I think are being infringed, then both of my options might be less effective.
    • Re:Save your breath (Score:4, Informative)

      by HiThere (15173) <`charleshixsn' `at' `earthlink.net'> on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:22AM (#20869245)
      You would want to specify them because if you know your patents are being violated, and you don't either sue with specificity, or define in particular which patents so that the offending party can correct the problem, then you eventually lose the right to sue over the patents being violated.

      "Eventually" is the sticking point. I don't know how long the period is, but it's measured in years, but I believe fewer than 5 of them. (I'm not sure that courts have ever decided on a particular number...so in egregious cases it could be shorter...or longer.)

      This implies that if MS knows about the patent violation and neither acts to cure it nor enables others to cure it, then it is in danger of losing the right to sue. (Well, not actually to sue, but to win.) I think this is called the doctrine of latches.

      Caution: IANAL.
      • by ls -la (937805)
        I'm pretty sure you can only lose rights to sue for not enforcing Trademarks, not patents. If you can find any evidence to the contrary, please post it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tinkerghost (944862)

          Under the concept of Laches & Equitiability, MS can sue, but they can't get any money. IE.

          1. they claimed they were being harmed
          2. they were asked to provide specifics so that the harm could be stopped
          3. they ignored the request
          By ignoring the request, they have contributed to their own damages & are therefor supposed to be unable to collect any damages up until they specify the patents - continued infringement past that point is subject to damages.
        • I'm pretty sure you can only lose rights to sue for not enforcing Trademarks, not patents. If you can find any evidence to the contrary, please post it.

          Thanks to another poster I found this:

          " *11 The doctrine of latches [ipmall.info], meaning undue delay in claiming one's rights, may result in loss of those rights. In this case the loss may be the right to a priority date, or the right to a patent."

          If Microsoft takes too long to enforce it's patent rights it loses those rights. What I don't understand is that be

    • I can sue then and claim damages for all the time that Linux was being used and was infringing.

      Up to a point. If you know of the infringement and do nothing (they admitted knowing), after a while it becomes un-enforceable much like not protecting a trademark.
    • Unfortunately, I think you have a point, though you might not have the details accurate.

      The prevailing wisdom on Slashdot has so far been: "Linux (software in Linux distros) doesn't violate any MS patents, because Ballmer doesn't know what he's talking about. If Microsoft knew of patents, why wouldn't they sue? If we ask Microsoft what patents, and they don't tell us, then even if they do hold violated patents, they can't sue us later on." There are a few flaws in this.

      I agree with parent poster that if
      • However, here's the important thing: to take advantage of their patents, Microsoft does not need to sue.

        According to Doctrine of Latches [ipmall.info] Microsoft eventually has to enforce it's patent rights or it loses them.

        Can you imagine the havoc this can still wreak despite no past damages? Some ingrained system is distributed with Linux, and then a few years after some major corporations have settled on using it, Microsoft jumps out and says, "Okay, fine, you don't have to pay retroactively since you didn't know

    • If I'm Microsoft and I think I have patents that Linux infringes upon, why would I want to specify which ones?

      Because somebody with the resources can sue Microsoft. If I had the money I could start a business selling products, Linux and Open Office, that MS says violates MS patents. I could then sue MS requesting they show what patents I am violating or pay damages for the libel and slander MS spreads.

      Falcon
  • by rvw (755107) on Friday October 05, 2007 @10:55AM (#20868725)
    I'm thinking about how to make a funny and clever comment about the two chicks in the picture in the article. They appear to stand on snow, which clearly is a reference to Tux, and this is especially true for the blond one in the black dress. What is this rope pulling anyway? What are they fighting over? If one wins, all they have is the rope to slap the other one. The rest is nothing but thin air.

    If this picture is meant to illustrate the fight between Linux and Microsoft, I want to be in the middle! Yeah!
    • As usual I did not read the article, this being /. Saw the thing about the article having pictures of chicks and that motivated me to actually click on the link to see the picture. What a bummer! Instead of some real cute chicks, the article has two female Homo sapiens dressed in tuxedos tugging-of-war in snow. There should be a law against people luring unsuspecting visitors by giving titillating titles promising zoological specimens and then showing girlie pictures instead.
  • A spy (Score:5, Funny)

    by loconet (415875) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:46AM (#20869663) Homepage
    ".....The organisation was set up by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony ...."

    The list of organizations reminds me of this pic: http://www.siliconhell.com/Images/Mad%20Cat/images/humour/spy.jpg [siliconhell.com]
  • by Technician (215283) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:54AM (#20869825)
    I think I know why Microsoft can't show their hand even it the 200 patent violations are 100% true.

    Often in a patent litigation case, there is an immediate countersuit by the opposing IP property owner as often there is many shared technologies in a complex project. The more complex a project is, the more likely someone else's patents have been inadvertently used in the project. In this case, MS code would be laid bare like Linux was in the SCO case. MS can't have the source code on the table for inspection. They know they are in possession of much prior art and many other patents, much of which they have no cross IP deals for. Closed source hides much of this behind the scenes. Because Microsoft has to keep it this way, they can't risk the counter suit. The SCO was a front for the attack Microsoft is unable to do in the open.

    Microsoft would not survive the countersuit without severe damage.

    This article is simply calling them on their veiled threats to put up or shut up. You may have the patents, but since you are not going to do anything about them, shut up already.

    The only time to watch out for Microsoft is when Linux overtakes Windows and Open Office overtakes Microsoft Office. In other words, when they have nothing left and need a Hail-Mary play like SCO.

    Remember the big deal with a trash can in Windows? MS knows it is not ready to scrap Windows and start from scratch.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_v._Microsoft [wikipedia.org]

    Even tabbed browsing in IE7 is at risk if they move on this.
    • The only time to watch out for Microsoft is when Linux overtakes Windows and Open Office overtakes Microsoft Office. In other words, when they have nothing left and need a Hail-Mary play like SCO.
      Even if Microsoft lost Windows entirely, they could still maintain some portion of market share with MS Office by porting it to other OS's. Unfortunately for them, they are likely too arrogant to do so and will as a result lose both equally and (in the long run) entirely.
      • As proof of the state of affairs, on the lower right corner of the default Gnome desktop in the toolbar is a little bin with a clear recycle symbol on it. Hovering over it, it indicates it is the trash. So what the heck is it? If it is trash, Apple owns it. If it is a recycling bin, Microsoft owns it.

        I am sure if they could, they would have jumped on that long ago, but can't because they would have problems with much of network authentication, encryption, tabbed browsing, photo editing, and many other as
        • As proof of the state of affairs, on the lower right corner of the default Gnome desktop in the toolbar is a little bin with a clear recycle symbol on it. Hovering over it, it indicates it is the trash. So what the heck is it? If it is trash, Apple owns it. If it is a recycling bin, Microsoft owns it. I am sure if they could, they would have jumped on that long ago, but can't because they would have problems with much of network authentication, encryption, tabbed browsing, photo editing, and many other asp

  • Microsoft recently patented the technology of sudo, which has been in *nix for over 30 years. Neglecting the issue of prior art (as did the USPTO in issuing the patent) isn't it reasonable to assume that sudo is one of the 200 patents M$ is claiming Linux violates?

    The original developers of Unix should have anticipated that over a quarter century later M$ would have patented their technology and should have used a workaround instead to avoid infringing the future patent.

    Shame! Shame!
  • That not unlike The SCO Group, we're going to need to ask this of Microsoft over and over and over before we might see an answer. But then again, SCO hasn't shown any code to support their allegations at any time in the last 4 years; what makes anyone think that MS will reveal their patents?

    We're all fairly certain which of the two is riding rectally impaled on the other's forearm.
    • But then again, SCO hasn't shown any code to support their allegations at any time in the last 4 years

      SCO did show its lines of code to the court. As it was put on Groklaw in the post 10 Myths About Open Source Software Answered, by Carlo Daffara [groklaw.net]:

      Even if the copyrights belonged to SCO, there are less than 300 lines of code at issue in that case in the end, and it's mostly standard interface code that many believe would be found to have no copyright protection no matter who owns it. That's 300 lines of cod

  • Remember when Microsoft was the first word that came to peoples' minds when "tech innovation" was mentioned? (It was never true, but that was the perception.) Who would have believed that this once-revered company could slide down to the level of SCO with its own sleazy scam to intimidate by claiming mystery "patent infringement" that it refuses to name? The giant has declared itself just another desperate pipsqueak. The dustbin of history awaits them.
    • Who would have believed that this once-revered company could slide down to the level of SCO with its own sleazy scam to intimidate by claiming mystery "patent infringement" that it refuses to name?

      Anyone in the tech industry probably as once you get past the marketing face of Microsoft, it becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly that this is basically how they have always done business. For example, see Wikipedia's entry on Altair BASIC [wikipedia.org]:

      Under the terms of the purchase agreement, MITS would receive the righ

  • It's so obvious why they said Linux violates Microsoft's patents. Vista was just launching and soon companies would seriously think about switching to Linux instead of buying vista.

    So Steve comes out with his patent FUD to make sure his customers don't think about switching operating systems.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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